Recent Thoughts

Sunday, April 06, 2008

"Universal" USB

“Everything can be connected to a USB these days”. This was my realization when I accompanied a friend to a branch of CD-R King just last week. Well, of course, technically and obviously, ‘everything’ is an exaggeration. But if you visit a computer and media shop near you, you will be surprised of the things that come with a USB plug these days.

Most techie gadgets can be connected to the USB ports of our laptops or personal computers which makes it more convenient for us to organize our ‘techie lifestyle’. Music players, digital cameras, cell phones, flash drives, etc – all of these can be readily connected. While there are some devices that cannot be directly connected to USB ports, there is a wide array of port adapters available that guess what – can be USB-connected. Indeed, the universal serial bus lives up to its name.

It’s one thing for almost all modern and technological gadgets to be connected to USB ports, but it’s another to have everyday ordinary appliances similarly connectible!

While my friend was busy buying blank DVD-Rs and other stuff, I busied myself by looking around the diverse merchandise hanging on the walls and displayed on the store’s shelves. I saw the usual array of flash drives and portable music and video players. Then there were the other USB devices – USB LAN, USB sound card, USB infrared, etc. Then I saw the USB paper shredder, USB warmer, USB massager, USB desktop fan and USB fridge. I almost laughed out loud in a mixture of amazement, surprise and disbelief. I wasn't exactly surprised about the technology and innovation behind these devices but more on the novelty of the ideas.

UPPER LEFT: the USB desktop fan; UPPER RIGHT: the USB fridge;
LOWER LEFT: the USB massager; LOWER RIGHT: the USB warmer/cooler;

So I began to wonder what would be next in this new trend of ‘technological’ innovations.

Now that we have a USB paper shredder, can a USB sharpener, USB liquid eraser and USB scissor be far behind? For more office productivity and efficiency, huh? Haha!

How about a USB coffee maker? Now that would be a great boon to workaholics!

In my case, I’d love to have a USB cell phone charger because most of the time I multi-task using my laptop and cell phone at the same time. It’s such a hassle when I’d have to use both at a time when my cell phone is charging a few feet away from my workstation at my room.

How about a USB mini-ATM? Just connect to the internet and it can be up and running. But, duh, who would replenish the bills every now and then? Haha!

Since there is already a USB desktop fan, why don't we take a step further and create a USB mini-aircon? Haha!

I find it annoyingly funny it when people call any USB device as “USB” only. This happens most commonly when people refer to their USB flash drives. “Wuy, pahiram naman ng USB mo.” When any of my friends make the mistake, I politely correct them and explain why. It’s like one of those practices we Filipinos have where we use a popular proper name to refer to a common name (i.e., ‘Colgate’ when we mean toothpaste, ‘Xerox’ when we mean photocopying machine, etc).

How about you? Any ideas for a future USB device that would be beneficial to your lifestyle?

PS. The future USB devices I described were completely a product of my own imagination. I am not sure though if any of these actually exist already. Who knows? hehe!

Quick Thoughts